The last 80 years have witnessed numerous changes in the US population. The population almost tripled from an estimated 80 million in the early 1900s to about 320 million by the year 2005. Another aspect of the population demographics is the increase in the metropolitan population by estimated twenty per cent over the last 80 years. Currently, almost half of the US population lives in suburban areas. The median age has considerably improved over the last 80 years. In addition, the population aged 65 years and above noticeably increased (Hobbs & Stoops, 2002). Furthermore, the general population composition shifted from a male majority to female majority. Generally, the population trend in the US highlights changes in fertility, mortality and aspects of migration.
The past century has witnessed a continuously declining mortality rate in the USA. Research indicates that the decline in mortality rates early in the 20th century resulted from improvement within healthcare and economic measures. Aspects of nutrition and healthcare largely focused on the young; thus, reduction in mortality rate was witnessed mostly among the younger population (Williams & Torrens, 2007). However, the mid 20th century witnessed declining mortality rate among the older population due to the introduction of drugs such as penicillin and sulfa. Closer to the end of the 20th century, cardiovascular related mortality declined due to improved medical interventions.
Over the next 30 years, the number of people with multiple long-term medical conditions will increase. Lifestyle diseases will be the greatest concern for the future healthcare system. Research indicates that the rising trend of obesity and alcohol consumption will result to increased cases of diabetes, arthritis, liver diseases and cancers (Department of Health, 2012). Other concerns are deteriorations in mental health due to socioeconomic pressures. Changes in disease patterns require a re-evaluation of various aspects of the healthcare system in order to meet changes in healthcare demands. While most of the traditionally identified medical conditions continue to decline, new disease patterns arise.